I don’t like Mondays

Lady Young, head of the UK’s Environment Agency, thinks that coping with climate change demands wartime urgency, as the Telegraph [UK] reports:

“This is World War Three – this is the biggest challenge to face the globe for many, many years. We need the sorts of concerted, fast, integrated and above all huge efforts that went into many actions in times of war. We’re dealing with this as if it is peacetime, but the time for peace on climate change is gone – we need to be seeing this as a crisis and emergency,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Observer covers a new report from a peace group:

This stark warning will be outlined by the peace group International Alert in a report, A Climate of Conflict, this week. Much of Africa, Asia and South America will suffer outbreaks of war and social disruption as climate change erodes land, raises seas, melts glaciers and increases storms, it concludes. Even Europe is at risk.

Greenhouse gas emissions continue to increase, and the International Energy Agency sees “inexorable”growth in energy demand over the next 30 years with a risk of more coal being burned. It does suggests a 450ppm CO2 limit might be achievable, but:

“Exceptionally quick and vigourous policy action by all countries, and unprecedented technological advances, entailing substantial costs, would be needed to make this case a reality.”

Not much hope of that. And the China Post says EU officials reckon that China will reject binding limits on emissions in any post-Kyoto deal. The words “hell” and “handbasket” spring to mind…On the upside? Bryan Appleyard in the Sunday Times [UK] looks at options for “fixing” climate through technology (well worth a read), scientists at Harvard and Penn State reckon they’ve found a way to speed up a natural weathering process to neutralise ocean acidity and remove carbon from the atmosphere, and Technology Review reports on a Dutch biofuel company working with a California-based venture capital outfit to develop catalysts that can turn organic matter such as waste wood into biocrude – chemicals that can be processed to make biofuels. If you’ve got money to invest, the Observer [UK] reckons that one of a new breed of green investment funds might be a good place to put it.

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